Kelly and Jamal planned their wedding at the Wharf Restaurant so they could say their ‘I do’s’ next to the Caribbean Sea with their toes in the sand with their doggy Sandy close by their side. Kelly left no detail out, from custom signs, to coconut cocktails, custom signing book, hanging jellyfish, personal grotto for Sandy the doggy, photobooth, live band and personal gifts for the bridal party… and the list goes on.
Wedding Planner: Meg Paterson, Octopus Events
Venue: Wharf Restaurant
DJ/Music: Isadora Ferrao and Bona Fide
Steel Drums: Michael Lemay
Harp: Eugenio Leon
Dress Boutique and designer: Bijou Bridal, Coral Gables, FLorida
Videography: Picture This Studios
Hair & Makeup: Allison Collier & Denise Ebanks-Smyth, Spa Platinum http://www.spaplatinumcayman.com
Coconuts on the Beach: Clarence McLaughlin
Wedding Cake: The Wharf http://www.wharf.ky
Nautlius Cake Topper, Bouquets, Reception Decor: Shell Décor https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShellDecor
Custom Signs: Octopus Events (http://www.octopus-events.com) and Cuba Lake Crafts https://www.etsy.com/shop/CubaLakeCrafts?ref=shop_sugg
Custom Hand-blown Glass Pieces: Galleria di Vetro https://www.facebook.com/galleriadivetro
Custom Printing: International Assets http://www.iadigitalprint.com
What made you choose the Cayman Islands for your destination wedding?
Grand Cayman is our second home! My family and I have been traveling to Grand Cayman 1-2 times a year for 20+ years! When I was in 4th or 5th grade, my family started traveling to warm tropical destinations every Christmas (we lived in Chicago at the time). One year, we traveled to Grand Cayman and the rest was history! We came back to Grand Cayman and eventually my family purchased a timeshare at 7 Mile Beach Resort and we have been coming 1-2 times per year ever since! We love Grand Cayman – I learned to scuba dive here and all that time I spent exploring the underwater world definitely influenced my career path to become a marine geologist. During the 11 years that Jamal and I have been together, it has become Jamal’s second home too. We were so thrilled to be able to have our wedding in Grand Cayman and share this magical place with our friends and family.
How would you describe your overall wedding experience?
Our wedding weekend celebration was incredible! We had the time of our lives and were so touched that so many family and friends traveled to Grand Cayman to celebrate with us. We had 110 guests including our local “Cayman family” and our friends and family that traveled from all over the USA, Curacao, Canada, and Germany.
Look closely and see if you can see the chicken in this picture… has a special meaning…
Any vendors you want to recognize?
The Wharf – Venue
The Wharf was the perfect venue for our destination wedding! We wanted a location where we could have a wedding on a sandy beach, ample room for a beach cocktail hour, and dinner overlooking the ocean with great food and great service. The Wharf fulfilled all those needs and more and was PERFECT. Reno and Tanja were a pleasure to work with – they had great ideas, suggestions, and were so accommodating! Every detail was PERFECT, the food amazing, and the service outstanding! Thank you so much!
Meg Paterson was a pleasure to work with! She made our “under the sea” dream wedding come true! We loved all the personal touches she did including a painting she created for us of two turtles with the words “two less turtles in the sea” which became a theme for the wedding. Meg created and painted a lot of the décor including the beautiful sea creature table signs and jellyfish lanterns. Thank you Meg for everything!
How did he pop the question?
Jamal proposed to me on November 24, 2013, onboard the Norwegian Epic cruise ship. We were going to celebrate my birthday on the ship (November 25), so Jamal told me that I would get a birthday present every day of the 7-day cruise. The first day, I received a small gift. The second day, I was expecting the same…but that’s not what happened! We had a great dinner (eating curry, of course) and then saw Blue Man Group. Afterwards, Jamal wanted to take a walk to the top deck of the ship…but unfortunately it was closed due to winds (little did I know Jamal had the ring in his pocket the whole night!!!). So, we went back to our cabin, and Jamal asked me to go on the balcony while he got my daily birthday gift (he kept them all in a small roller bag that was locked and off limits to me for the week). I was sitting down on the balcony and Jamal insisted that I stand up and hold out my hand…so I did and Jamal got down on one knee and proposed on the balcony of our cabin over the Caribbean Sea. I, of course, said yes! We celebrated by going to the Champagne Bar onboard to enjoy cocktails. It was a wonderful night. Because it was the beginning of the cruise, we got to celebrate all week!
What was your favourite moments from the wedding? (Optional)
The whole weekend was amazing and a dream come true. We thought one day was too short to celebrate so we had 4 days of events for all of our family and friends. We could go on forever about all of our favorite moments but I will just elaborate on a few from the wedding reception.
We were so happy that our dog Sandy could travel to the Cayman Islands to celebrate with us! She’s a huge part of our lives in Miami and we could not imagine getting married without her! She was so great the entire week she was there! She was shuffled around all week long, different people walking her, feeding her, playing with her, and we brought her everywhere! She came to Stingray City, Guy Harvey’s, and she was our precious flower girl with a ceremony dress and a sparkly cocktail dress for the reception! She sat at a table (yes she had a place setting and a name card!) and my sister Michelle helped her eat dinner (special order from the Wharf: filet mignon, prepared medium rare, cut up into small bites!). She danced on the dance floor and stole the show at the photo booth! We love our Sandy!
One of our favorite moments that evening was when we sat down to eat dinner. After the hustle and bustle all day long, it was wonderful to sit down, eat our dinner, and just gaze out at the reception. We got to take in all the décor, the undersea lighting, watch our friends and family, and take in the ambiance – it was perfect. Not to mention, the food was amazing (we both had the scallops with asparagus risotto)!
We also loved our first dance – Isadora and Bona Fide performed a special custom mix of our two favorite songs: John Legend “All of You” and Bob Marley’s “Is This Love.” During that dance we just got to enjoy each other, the music, and the setting and not worry about trying to talk to everyone or take more photos. It was great!
Another favorite moment was after we fed the tarpon we surprised our guests with fireworks – it was so nice to see everyone’s reactions (we kept it a secret from everyone, even our families). After a minute or so, everyone got quiet, including us, and it was so peaceful to stand there next to the sea and gaze up into the sky and watch the beautiful illuminations of color with the tarpon swimming below.